Prime Minister Florin Citu argued on Thursday that the government will attract foreign investors, so as to reform the economy together, while also maintaining that 30 years have been wasted in this regard.
“I made a promise last year and many said it was a campaign promise. No, it was not a campaign promise, we approved in the Government the bill that went to Parliament to eliminate that populist nonsense, adopted last year, in full electoral campaign by the socialist government, by the socialist Parliament, by the socialist majority coalition, through which the Romanian state companies could no longer access capital from the capital market or investors,” affirmed Citu, at the “2020 Performers” event, organized by the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
He stressed the need for the state-owned companies’ reform and investment to reform the economy.
“We have wasted 30 years, but I think we can recover very quickly,” the prime minister said.
According to him, through the measures taken last year, the Government managed to maintain Romania’s country rating in a difficult period, adding that Romania had the highest economic growth in Europe in last year’s fourth quarter.
“People trusted the measures taken by that Government, and the confirmation of the figures, the confirmation of the reality came when we received the figures for economic growth for the whole of last year, the estimates at this time, which were better than any estimates of any specialist, even ours, and in last year’s fourth quarter, when Europe was going through other periods of lockdown, Romania had the highest economic growth. Thus, all this happened because we managed to put a plan in place, which earned the investors’ confidence, and I think this was the most important thing last year and is the most important for a Government, to earn the trust of investors. It is very difficult to gain that confidence, it is very easy to lose and we continue in the same direction this year as well,” said Prime Minister Citu, according to Agerpres.
Public sector wages, bonuses, stay the same as in 2020
He also said that public sector employees will receive the same wages and bonuses as in 2020, stressing also that no layoffs will be made.
Asked about the protest calendar announced by the trade unions, which accuse him of skirting social dialogue, Citu said that “it’s the trade unions’ job to support their employees, but my message for the public sector unionists and employees is the same: in 2020, when the entire economy was going through the worst crisis in the last hundred years, when 1.4 million people were put on furlough in the private sector, (…) we had to make efforts, people paid taxes to support wages in the public sector, public employees received the normal wage rise, nobody was laid off. (…) This year too, no one is fired, everyone receives their bonuses, they collect the same wages as in 2020. I don’t see a problem here,” Citu said after participating in the event Performers of the Year 2020 organized by the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
The Premier also noted that things have changed everywhere, but the union leaders are the same as 30 years ago.
“(…) As a society, we should ponder a little, how come that union leaders are the same people from 30 years ago? Nothing really happens there. Things are changing everywhere, but the same union leaders have been in position for 30 years now. We should think about how things work and maybe use social dialogue to see how they get there,” Citu said.